Webinar: MatchMaker Prep Seminar: Getting the Most out of MatchMakers

| By Sarah Jester

NGLCC Corporate Partner Johnson & Johnson has partnered with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce for a virtual matchmaking event centered on minority-owned & Certified LGBTBE® suppliers! In advance of this event, J&J and the NGLCC Communities of Color Initiative (COCi) stopped by NGLCC’s Webinar Wednesday program to provide helpful tips and strategies to attendees. Here are our main takeaways from the presentation.

1. What are the most important items a company should be prepared with in a matchmaker meeting and what kind of information are supplier diversity professionals looking for in a supplier?

Charlene Vickers, Director of Supplier Diversity & Inclusion at J&J, encouraged attendees to review whether or not their organizations would be a good fit for J&J from a capabilities standpoint. This involves considerations like the organization’s history and background, how long it has been in business for, and more.

“What are your core capabilities, what do you bring to the table, and what sets you apart?” asked Vickers.

Paul Saltiel, NA Procurement Consumer Category Lead at J&J, recommended practicing pitches in front of the mirror in advance of the matchmaker event. He told attendees to remember to be very concise about their business’ history, focusing more on their capabilities and results when speaking with SDI professionals. Results can be displayed in the form of a successful case study.

2. How can I form connections with supplier diversity professionals at this event?

“I’ve been participating in MatchMakers since the beginning,” said Aurelio De Mendoza, Senior Vice President of American Meetings, Inc., a Certified LGBTBE®.

Aurelio shared that he had found very long term success and long-lasting business relationships as a result of these short matchmaker meetings. He said that it was important to create some kind of relationship with the person you are meeting with, even if it doesn’t lead to a direct contract right away. They may encounter opportunities in the future that would be a better fit for your organization, and the closer the relationship you create with them, the more readily your business will come to their mind.

Paul told attendees to think of this opportunity as long term networking; entrepreneurs are constantly selling their businesses and that golden opportunity may come further down the line.

Aurelio also told attendees to ask professionals how to follow up with them after the event. Know whether they prefer to be contacted by email or through a portal, and understand who exactly you are meeting with.

3. What does a supplier need to keep in mind when working with J&J?

Charlene spoke to the audience about understanding and learning about the culture and personality at J&J. As she noted, J&J is a relationship based company, which may be a different environment than some suppliers are used to.

Paul told suppliers to understand and benchmark what the current going rate was for their field of business. That way, negotiations with J&J can be simplified if suppliers make it to the contract process. Having a good understanding of your field in general is incredibly important in general - also for the presentation aspect of MatchMakers. The presentation should depend on how familiar the company is with your service. If they are unfamiliar, it might be beneficial to spend more time discussing what exactly it is that you do at your business.

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To view the entire program, and for an overview of the MyBusinessMatches portal, click here.